Having been in Manila for a month now and seeing San Miguel Beer make history in the Philippine Cup were enough reasons for import Tyler Wilkerson to conclude that the Beermen are a “powerful team.”
The 27-year-old Wilkerson made his presence felt in just his 2nd game in the pro league, dropping a conference-high 52 points, built around 7 three-pointers to tow the Beermen to a 120-109 ripping of GlobalPort Friday night.
“We wanna win a championship, it’s that simple,” Wilkerson told the press after the game.
“This team can really be powerful and we still didn’t have Arwind tonight.”
Santos, San Miguel’s sweet-shooting forward, sat out Friday’s game due to tightness on his legs, an offshoot of his lengthy playing time during the team’s title conquest in the All-Filipino conference.
But Santos’s presence was hardly needed on a night Wilkerson and the sharp-shooting Marcio Lassiter combined to knock down 15 of the team’s 19 threes.
Lassiter, a member of the 17-man Gilas national pool, lit up the scoreboard with 28 points to provide a lethal 1-2 outside scoring punch for the Beermen.
Wilkerson said his 52-point outburst was not planned even though the Beermen missed the services of Santos and the team’s top slotman June Mar Fajardo was still not 100-percent due to some discomfort on his left knee.
“I mean I felt like I needed to score for us to win but it wasn’t like I didn’t come in to say ‘I will score 50. I just came to play and it just happened,” the well-traveled San Miguel import said.
“We’re ready to play. That’s why we came to play and win games.”
Wilkerson played 1 college season with Fil-Am guard Chris Ross and 2 years with Chris Lutz at Marshall University. — By Richard Dy